By: Lord Mykaru Kurodachi
I have gained so much from the archive I thought I should give something back. We have a number of "how to" articles and here is my 2 cents worth. There are various schools of thought on how to set articulation rivets. I have been assured by those who actually get to handle period pieces that both methods were used in about equal amounts.
Drill or punch holes the size of your rivet. Properly fitted the "slop" allowed by oversized holes is unnecessary. In addition I feel initial extra play contributes to accelerated wear of the rivet. Bear in mind this method requires holes for the rivets to be placed EXACTLY, otherwise the articulation will not have a full range of movement. NOTE: This method does not work for sliding rivets.
Be certain your rivet is the proper length for the gauge of metal you are using (for most work I use a 3/8 x 3/16) and is properly supported. I use a cylinder head bolt with a divot ground in placed in the pritchard hole of my anvil. This keeps the rivet head round and prevents sliding. Strike the edges of the rivet shank in a circular pattern ( see Fig. 1). Working the shank in this manner eliminates the need for burrs (washers). Continue until the edges have rolled and are no longer sharp. Do NOT strike the center of the shank. This will swell the shank locking the articulation.